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Tech News Roundup - 10/23/2017

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Tech Politics
Facebook and Google are spending big money to lobby on Russia, sex trafficking and immigration. Along with Apple and Amazon, tech's new lobbying data show they're under siege in the nation's capital. (Recode)

Bannon rips Bush, Silicon Valley 'lords of technology'. Issuing a defiant call to arms to grassroots Republicans, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon railed Friday against dangerous "global elites" and the Silicon Valley "lords of technology" whom he said are robbing U.S. citizens of jobs, wealth and opportunity. (Politico Pro)

House slates hearing on social media political ad disclosures. The House will host the first hearing specifically on the need to disclose the sources of political ads online. (The Hill)

Tech giants' choice of Russia witnesses draws concern. Facebook, Twitter and Google all announced on Thursday that they will send their general counsels to testify at House and Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Russian election interference - a move that has drawn fire from critics who want more transparency from the tech giants. (The Hill)

The army of Silicon Valley activists trying to elect Dems. Ryan Ko spends his work days bouncing between conference calls and strategy meetings. But Ko-a 28-year-old MIT-trained McKinsey & Company consultant in San Francisco-is also a political junkie. (Wired)

Trump to House GOP: Pass budget bill so we can get tax reform. President Donald Trump had a tough message for House Republicans on Sunday: Get to work on tax reform and pass the Senate budget immediately - or face a bloodbath in 2018. (Politico Pro)
President Trump: With tax reform we can make it morning in America again. Today is the anniversary of former president Ronald Reagan signing into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The act was the second major law he signed to reform the tax code for the American people. (USA Today)
Ryan: Tax plan will include higher bracket on the rich. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans' tax-rewrite plan will include a higher tax bracket on the well-to-do. (Politico Pro)

Can Trump stay on track on tax reform?. Congressional Republicans are readying themselves for a new obstacle on tax reform: President Donald Trump and his penchant for disruptions. (Politico Pro)

Trump Optimistic on Reaching Tax Plan by Year-End. President Donald Trump said Sunday that he was optimistic Congress would pass a tax plan he could sign by year's end that reduces the corporate rate while providing tax relief for the middle class. (Wall Street Journal)

This Big Tax Cut for 'High Fliers' Shows Why an Overhaul Is Hard. President Donald Trump and Republicans love the idea of cutting taxes. But the hard part comes now as they wrangle over who will see the biggest breaks. (Bloomberg)

Artificial Intelligence

Are those 80,000 pound trucks tailgating each other? Soon it may be perfectly normal - and safe. If you look to the next lane and see two 18-wheelers roar past at 70 mph with just 10 yards between them, you'll probably think they are dangerously close. (Washington Post)


Tech companies to lobby for immigrant 'Dreamers' to remain in U.S.. Nearly two dozen major companies in technology and other industries are planning to launch a coalition to demand legislation that would allow young, illegal immigrants a path to permanent residency, according to documents seen by Reuters. (Reuters)

Public Sector
Tony Scott calls IT workforce drain a 'creeping' crisis bigger than Y2K. The White House's final IT modernization report will soon be released following nearly 100 comments from industry stakeholders, but former U.S. CIO Tony Scott is most concerned about a pair of issues that didn't receive much attention in the plan: talent and culture. (FedScoop)


U.S. warns public about attacks on energy, industrial firms. The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. (Reuters)

Whole Foods Data Breach Affected About 100 Taprooms, Restaurants. Hack didn't impact transactions at its grocery stores or through Amazon. (Wall Street Journal)

Whole Foods says hacking incident resolved. Inc's Whole Foods Market said on Friday it had replaced affected point-of-sale systems at venues located within some stores where payment card information had been stolen. (Reuters)

Equifax hack may shake up US consumer data laws. Federal lawmakers are pushing to give you more control over your data, after hackers stole information from 145 million Americans. (CNET)

Whitehouse: 'I can't find a point of entry' to talk cyber with Trump administration. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) expressed frustration at an Oct. 19 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over his inability to find partners at the White House or Department of Justice to coordinate with Congress on cybersecurity legislation. (Federal Computer Week)

Businesses need to think about a public cyber star rating. Too often when a company does a cyber boo-boo, it will get off pretty lightly by issuing a statement saying how seriously it takes security concerns, that no financial data was stolen in the breach, and that users should change their passwords to be on the safe side. (ZDNet)

Hackers Target Nation's Schools. Hackers looking to exploit sensitive information for profit are increasingly targeting the nation's schools, where they are finding a relatively weak system to protect a valuable asset: student data. (Wall Street Journal)


House Judiciary circulates updated surveillance renewal bill. The House Judiciary Committee is circulating a revised version of its draft bipartisan bill to reauthorize and amend powerful electronic spying tools. (Politico Pro)


Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce A.I. Talent. Nearly all big tech companies have an artificial intelligence project, and they are willing to pay experts millions of dollars to help get it done. (New York Times)

Robots Are Coming for These Wall Street Jobs. Wall Street is entering a new era. The fraternity of bond jockeys, derivatives mavens and stock pickers who've long personified the industry are giving way to algorithms, and soon, artificial intelligence. (Bloomberg)

It's 2017 and Amazon only has one woman among its 18 most powerful executives. Even in a technology industry rife with gender disparity, Amazon's leadership group stands out among the most powerful companies for being almost exclusively an all-boys club. (Recode)

Where Internet Orders Mean Real Jobs, and New Life for Communities. Ellen Gaugler remembers driving her father to the Bethlehem Steel mill, where he spent his working years hauling beams off the assembly line and onto rail cars. (New York Times)

Internet of Things

In New York, self-driving cars get ready to face the bullies. Starting next year, New Yorkers could join Silicon Valley workers and residents of cities like Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Boston as players in a grand, growing, autonomous car experiment. (Wired)


Trump Plan for Coal, Nuclear Power Draws Fire From Environmental, Oil Groups. Critics from factions often at odds are calling Trump administration's proposal a bailout for struggling power plants. (Wall Street Journal)

Big Oil Set for Bumper Profits Despite Cheap Crude. When some of the world's largest energy companies report earnings next week, it will provide a glimpse into whether they are improving profitability as oil prices continue to hover around $50 a barrel. (Wall Street Journal)


E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists. The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conferenceon Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved. (New York Times)

Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots. A scientist who worked for the chemical industry now shapes policy on hazardous chemicals. Within the E.P.A., there is fear that public health is at risk. (At right, a signing ceremony for new rules on toxic chemicals.) (New York Times)

EPA says it won't cut biofuel quotas after corn states push back. Agency will keep Renewable Fuel Standard despite earlier moves to help fossil fuel. (Ars Technica)

China's recyclers eye looming electric vehicle battery mountain. After years of dismantling discarded televisions and laptops, a Shanghai recycling plant is readying itself for a new wave of waste: piles of exhausted batteries from the surge of electric vehicles hitting China's streets. (Reuters)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's claim that the U.S. is 'leading the world'in 'C02 footprint' reductions. When the host of "Your World" pressed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on his views on climate change, Pruitt dodged the question and instead spoke about President Trump's reasons for leaving the Paris climate accords. (Washington Post)

Tech Business

Big Tech's new Wall Street problem. Just as Big Tech has begun to seriously worry about Washington, now Wall Street is waking up to possible government threats to the market dominance of the Silicon Valley giants. (Axios)

ITI Member News

Alphabet balloon project to provide limited internet in Puerto Rico. Experimental communications balloons provided by Alphabet Inc in collaboration with AT&T Inc will allow some of the carrier's customers in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico to send texts and access critical information on the internet, Alphabet said on Friday. (Reuters)
Tech firms to remove extremist posts within hours. Tech giants Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Google have agreed to do more to remove extremist content within hours of it being posted. (BBC)
Google denies report of revenue sharing with news publishers. Search giant calls Financial Times report of revenue sharing deal "totally wrong." (CNET)

How Facebook's Master Algorithm Powers the Social Network. The algorithm behind Facebook's News Feed, a "modular layered cake," extracts meaning from every post and photo. (Wall Street Journal)

Inside Amazon, Diversity Concerns Flare Up After Harassment Accusations. Amazon on Friday tried to quell concerns among employees about sexual harassment accusations against an executive, sending an email to its staff saying the company would review its policies to ensure that "they are doing their job to provide a harassment-free workplace." (New York Times)

Apple hit with trademark lawsuit over iPhone X 'animoji' feature. A Japanese software company is suing Apple Inc in a U.S. court over the trademark for the term "animoji", alleging the U.S. technology company stole the name to use on a feature of its iPhone X. (Reuters)

Microsoft Joins the Home-Speaker Party With Invoke. Late entry into an Amazon-dominated market aims to put Cortana wherever the consumer is. (Wall Street Journal)

Verizon's long-shot bet to disrupt Google and Facebook. Facebook and Google dominate digital advertising, but Verizon wants to change that. (Wired)

Why the Fact-Checking at Facebook Needs to Be Checked. Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook has taken a number of actions to prevent the continued distribution of false news articles on its platform, most notably by labeling articles rated as false or misleading by fact checkers as "disputed." (New York Times)

Today on the Hill

The House is not in session today.

The Senate will convene at 3:00 PM and resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R.2266, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act.
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